Monday, 1 September 2014

Universal Utilities (t/a Unicom)

This is the first company that I am going to list on my "Companies from Hell" blog if only because I am experiencing a very difficult time with them as they are driven by money and profit and have no real concept of customer service.

To be fair to Unicom I have been with them for a number of years trouble free but that is only because I have had no reason to question them, things have just gone along tickety boo.

Invoice arrives (Tick)
Price reasonable (Tick)
Invoice paid (Tick)

and so it goes on, until Unicom get greedy and they want my broadband too, nothing untoward there I hear you say, well no you are correct, but where it starts to get a bit iffy is the way they try to coerce you into taking their services.



It starts off with call after call after call and this goes on over days, weeks, months and when you finally give in and start to converse with them they then start off with impossible promises.  In my case they knew my providers (I have two) and the approximate speeds I was getting and they promised that they could triple one of them and quadruple the others speeds.  Now I know this to be total rubbish because of my location and distance from the exchange I'm actually already getting the best available.  They then told me that I can get this for as little as £29.99/Month, well I'm only currently paying £15.00/Month.

Their next tactic is to slate off the opposition where they try to highlight just how shoddy their services are compared to Unicom, their speeds are rubbish, their SLA's are non-existent and to top that in the next few Months they are going to hike their prices through the roof, and only Unicom can protect me from this.

Now if you get beyond this and they get into their Sales Script (They start recording at this point, why only now well that's because they don't want on record what has been said before) they will get to the contract bit and you will get hit with "this is for a 36 Month Contract".

Now lets just stop here "a 36 Month Contract" (I have to say you do need to listen out for this one) however if you say NO they come back with we only do "36 Month Contracts" this bit is contravening OFCOM's directive where they the provider must be able to offer the consumer/small business a 12 Month Contract. By the way Consumers (Residential) the maximum contract length is 24 Months.

If you get beyond all of this (from my recent experience DON'T GO ANY FURTHER) and agree to go with their services, sit down and do the sums to compare what you are paying now against what you would be paying Unicom and I'll promise you will be shocked, in my case Unicom were nearly double WOW, and they really couldn't improve on the speed as promised.

Having got to this stage I contacted Unicom the very next day to cancel the broadband transfer, I was transferred to Manager in the sales dept where he spent a long time telling me how bad my current suppliers are and what a great opportunity I was passing up on but I was persistent for 15/20 minutes and cancelled the order.

More Reading at: -
My Unicom Hell by Bekra Models
Unicom Horror Stories published by Unicom-Complaints
Another damming Blog


3 comments:

  1. Your experience with Unicom, Chris, has clearly been irritating. I thought you’d like to know just how bad they can be.

    I’ve battled with Sunstone, and their new incarnation, Unicom, for 6 years. In the early days, they waged an unrelenting campaign of harassment by phone calls and emails.

    I received hundreds of calls from them, up to 3 of four times a day and they liked to pick inconvenient times like 6 PM on Friday to try and disturb your weekend. I never responded to the vast majority of these calls, just putting the phone to one side and let them talk to the air. I eventually changed my phone number to finally get rid of them.

    There were threatening letters, fake court papers - you name it, they sent it. And what was this all about? That I changed provider after four years and nine months of what they allege was a five-year contract, which by the way we never agreed to. I might add that the original “agreement” was with a limited company, and yet this campaign in recent years has been directed at me.

    The eventually offer to settle for £50 only, down from the ridiculous £900 “termination fee” claimed. But I refuse to pay out on a matter of principle, which is I never entered into agreement with them in the first place for a five-year contract.

    I even tried the ombudsman, but that was a waste of time as they backed Unicom. I can only imagine what Unicom sent them as “evidence”. Probably just told them I had agreed verbally to a “5 year” contract, which they may well just accept without checking. Fact is, I hadn’t agreed any such agreement. 2 years is max I’d agree for anything. What business knows it’ll be in business in 5 years? They have never provided any recording of me agreeing on behalf of the company.

    Although the supposed settlement amount was small I still refused to pay because they’re in the wrong. It’s obviously hard for this awful company to understand that people can act on the basis of principle, which I have done.

    After a lull of about a year, when I thought they had crawled back into the dark place that they inhabit, they've sent another “final notice of county court proceedings” letter. So it looks like the nonsense is going to continue. If necessary, I will go to court. This is a point of principle and nothing to do with money. Let’s see how their “evidence” stacks up under cross examination.

    Be warned anyone thinking of taking telecom services from Unicom. You are stepping into a bad place.

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  2. Mark,

    Yes your story is so familiar I have joined with a group of small businesspeople who all have problems of one form or another with Unicom and there are a number of them that have exactly the same issue as you. The one thing you have to give Unicom is a A* for persistence.

    Their debt collection tactics have to be likened to that of the Mafia and I wouldn't be surprised if they employed a few bully boys who threatened to break a few limbs (metaphorically speaking) if you don't pay up. Fake Debt Collection Companies, Fake County Court Summons and Fake Bailiff Letters are all the norm for this company; the Daily Mail are campaigning against this type of intimidation from banks and I know that some people from the group have contacted the news desk about Unicom employing the tactics and I believe that they are interested in hearing from other parties.

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  3. This Unicom have to be the worst utility company l have ever dealt with.How they are allowed to trade by the powers that be buggers belief.They use a mixture of intimidation and false promises.They have zero interest in customer service and pray on the naive ,trusting and vulnerable.They try every trick in the book to extract money out of you that you don't owe them.lts important to stand your ground and make sure you only pay for the electricity you use by READING YOUR METER and calculating your bill because they will carry on sending you inflated Bill's and inflated demands to pay up.My story with them started last October when l bought a pub.This is a saga that takes some telling so next installment to follow.

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